The amount of formula taken during a feed will vary from one infant to the next. The table below is a general resource on typical feeding amounts. Paying attention to your infant’s signals to help figure out when he/she is hungry, or becoming full during a feed, will help you understand how best to handle your baby’s nutritional needs.
Average amount taken each feed
2-3 ounces (60-90 ml)
Every 2-3 hours
1 month old
4 ounces (120 ml)
Every 3-4 hours
2 months old
5 ounces (150 ml)
Every 4-5 hours
4 months old
6 ounces (180 ml)
Every 4-5 hours
6 months old
6-8 ounces (180-240 ml)
Every 4-5 hours
**As your baby grows and settles into higher feeding volumes, he/she should not drink more than 32 ounces (960 ml) in a twenty-four-hour period.
Before too long, you will begin to wonder about when and how to introduce solid/puréed foods into your child’s diet. Current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests introducing solids at about 6 months old. However, infants as young as 4 months old may start to show signs of readiness and interest in experiencing solid foods.
Knowing the signs of readiness is an important part of introducing purées at an appropriate time. Some indicators that your child may be developmentally ready for solids include:
Doubling of their birth weight to reach a minimum weight of 13 pounds. This usually occurs around 4 months old.
His/her ability to sit with little to no support.
He/she opens their mouth and can lean forward to receive food.
Once you’ve determined that your child is ready to start solid foods, deciding on what to feed them and how much will naturally be your next questions. In the recent past, parents could count on receiving very specific instructions on what color sequence, food type, and order of flavors to introduce. Guess what, you’ll be glad to know that according to updated guidelines offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, introducing solids can be done with a lot more flexibility and fun.
Here are some tips to help get you and your baby started on your food adventures:
Tip #1: It does not matter which solids you introduce first. Though single grain cereals were the go-to food to start solids introduction in the past, ultimately it is more important to start with single-ingredient foods. Introducing a single ingredient will allow you to monitor how your child tolerates that particular food. If there are no signs of an allergic reaction, voilà! After your child has tolerated that food type, you may go ahead and start building his/her menu by adding new foods. It is important to wait at least 3 days between each new food you decide to add.
Tip #2: You don’t need to wait until after 1 year old to introduce foods that are considered highly allergic. These foods include eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, fish, and dairy. Once your baby has tried a few solids, it is fine to include these foods into the diet. Remember that is is still important to integrate allergy-associated foods, in a texture-appropriate form (for example, dissolve peanut butter puffs in breastmilk or infant formula). Of course, if there is a family history of food allergies or your infant has eczema (a severe dry skin condition), it is best to be guided by your pediatrician as you introduce these foods. Please call our office immediately if you notice any signs of allergic reaction, such as rash, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Tip #3: Feed your baby all solid foods using a spoon. Do not put cereals into bottles for feeding. This can present a risk for choking.
Tip #4: Avoid the introduction of honey until your child turns 1 year old. Honey isn’t an allergic food, however, it can be extremely unsafe for children under a year. There is a certain type of bacteria that can contaminate honey, leading to a potentially life-threatening condition called botulism.
Tip #5: Wait to introduce juices (and definitely no sodas) until after 1 year old. It is acceptable to offer juices as early as 6 months old but let’s face it, juice has no true nutritional value. It simply adds extra sugars and calories to your child’s diet and increases the risk of early tooth decay and childhood obesity. Once you do start introducing juice into your child’s diet, offer your toddler no more than 4-6 oz of 100% fruit juice daily.
** Special note: Cow’s milk introduction before 1 year old is not recommended. However, you may introduce processed dairy products such as yogurt into your baby’s diet before their first birthday.